Make every click count!

Gold
VERIFIED

Straight North is an Internet marketing agency specializing in SEO, PPC and responsive websites. We help firms increase sales leads and e-commerce revenue.

Our core service is SEO. We have helped hundreds of clients improve organic search visibility since 1997. We are the only SEO company that validates and reports all sales leads from phone and forms.

Call us today: 844-219-3699

 
$1,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
50 - 249
 Founded
1997
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • 211 W Upper Wacker Dr, Suite 1800
    Chicago, IL 60606
    United States
other locations
  • 615 S College St.
    Charlotte, NC 28202
    United States

Reviews

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PPC for Photo and Media Digitization Provider

"We’re definitely generating business from what they’re doing."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Less than $10,000
 
Oct. 2019 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North does PPC on Google and Bing to drive sales for a data preservation company.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Houston, Texas
Daniel Enneking
Owner, Houston Scanning
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Internal stakeholders are pleased with the quality of leads Straight North has driven to date. They’re familiarity with the industry is notable, as is their fast onboarding. Customers can expect a knowledgeable partner that excels at working with clients new to the marketing world.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the owner of Houston Scanning. We transfer people’s photo albums and VHS and DVD—old, vintage style data—to a current digital format so they can preserve their memories.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We’re competing with larger online companies, and Straight North is helping us with our local market. People aren’t confident shipping their memories out of the state or the country to preserve them, so they come to us. Straight North is doing advertising. Specifically, they do Google and Bing ads.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They do all of our PPC, in addition to targeting customers that are interested in the specific services we provide. They pinpoint and filter out the customers and clicks that aren’t going to turn into buyers. They’re saving us money in that regard.

What is the team composition?

I work with Taylor (Account Manager), but she has a team of 2–5 people that may touch on my project.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

We have quasi-partners located in Chicago, and they have a business called Chicago Scanning. Straight North started with them first since they’re also based in Chicago. They had a great experience, so, when I opened Houston Scanning, I decided to not fix what wasn’t broken and brought them on as well.

How much have you invested with them?

We spend around $1,500 dollars with them, including a $500 ad spend. We also pay them a management fee.

What is the status of this engagement?

We’ve been working together since October 2019.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

They’ve done very well for us. In the short amount of time we’ve been open, we’ve probably saved money regarding ad clicks that don’t pertain to us. Their experience with Chicago Scanning helps them quite a bit in identifying potential conversions. I don’t have a measurement to put it up against, but, from what I’ve seen, we’re doing more business than what I thought we’d do in the beginning. We’re definitely getting our name out there.

The sales we’ve spent ad money on in the last few months probably won’t come to fruition for another month or two. Our product is an elective expenditure, so people look around and see what’s out there. Our business could come months down the road based on current advertising.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

Taylor is awesome at getting back to me and keeping me in the loop about what’s going on. They seem like they’re pinpointing the clients we’re looking for, which prevents me from spending money on advertising that would bring sales. Overall, they’re helping us greatly, and I look forward to seeing more pinpointed feedback and qualified leads. We’re definitely generating business from what they’re doing.

What did you find most impressive about them?

It takes longer to get a business off the ground when you’re relying on something you’re not too familiar with, but they’ve done a great job. They had the experience from our quasi-partner, so they had the puzzle pieces ready to go. All they had to do was connect them. When you’re starting a business, you want to start making money fast, so this felt like it took a couple of extra weeks. Looking back, however, it went faster than it probably should have. I give them a lot of credit for getting it running as fast as they did.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can’t think of anything measurable. I feel like they’re doing everything right, which is why we’re still with them.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Call them as soon as you can. They certainly know what they’re doing with PPC.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Definitely a five.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would highly recommend them.

PPC Support for Neuroscience Research Firm

"They’ve helped us be successful and moved us toward things we wouldn’t have done on our own."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Less than $10,000
 
Feb. 2019 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North provides ongoing PPC support for a neuroscience research firm. They work to improve Google Ads efforts and collaborate to come up with new ideas related to the industry. 

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
President, Neuroscience Research Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The demonstrated skill from Straight North has contributed to the business seeing substantial growth in traffic, sales, and clicks. Their enthusiasm in leading the project has instilled trust between the two teams, something that makes the engagement flow smoothly and productively. 

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the president of a Neuroscience Research Firm. We have four divisions focused on a variety of research, equipment, techniques, and tests.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We’re a small company and as the landscape of Google started to change, we weren’t able to adapt very quickly. We felt like we were on the forefront of the efforts in the past, so we hired a team that would stay on top of the PPC work for us now. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

For the most part, they help us with our PPC efforts as it pertains to Google Ads. 

What is the team composition?

We were initially working with 2–3 people, but Taylor (Account Manager, Straight North) is who we mostly communicate with now. 

How did you come to work with Straight North?

One of our employees knew someone who worked with Straight North, so they came to our attention. We had considered some other groups, but we liked the familiarity with Straight North and how they answered our questions. 

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent between $5,000–$10,000 on their services. 

What is the status of this engagement?

Our engagement started in February 2019 and our engagement is ongoing. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement? 

PPC was something we were really neglecting, and since bringing Straight North on, we’ve seen a big turnaround. Looking at the analytics, we can see the number and quality of links improving. The traffic being directed to our site is better.

Our site isn’t designed to be a typical marketplace, but we’re seeing an uptick in sales there, too. Whenever we give a new focus to Straight North, we immediately see results from that, even if it’s just an upswing in interest for a product or focus area. 

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

When someone in one of our divisions approaches me about a new idea, I bring it to Straight North and they get on it. On the flip side, their team has also come to us with their own ideas to try, so their proactive approach has been really beneficial for us. We have the right amount of touchpoints with them, so they’re not overbearing or neglectful—they’re right in the middle. When we need them, they’re there. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

We don’t know what we don’t know, so it’s great when they tell us what to take advantage of. They’ve helped us be successful and moved us toward things we wouldn’t have done on our own. 

It’s also been nice to let them run with the project and we don’t have to worry because we know they’ll come back to us if they run into something. We can trust them, so we don’t have to watch over their shoulders to make sure they’re doing it right. 

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, our relationship has been good. 

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Engage them. Even though they come with ideas, it’s still important to ask for new things and not get complacent. We can’t assume they know about our niche business and they can’t be experts in our product, so it’s wise to talk with them. 

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’ve never hidden any fees and everything has been on time and within budget.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

SEM Support & Web Design for Pipeline Service Provider

“They’ve been great at prioritizing what we’re supposed to be most closely focused on.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Sep. 2019 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North offers SEO, PPC, and trade show collateral creation services to a water and sewage pipeline company. They are focusing their PPC efforts primarily on Google and Bing.

The Reviewer
 
501-1,000 Employees
 
Irvine, California
Marketing Coordinator, Hoffman Southwest Corp.
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Resulting from the updated collateral and new website, the team has contributed to an increase in leads and web traffic to their partner’s site. They’ve been willing to learn about the niche industry and offer an attentive project management style to ensure that they deliver the best results.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the marketing coordinator at a company that provides inspection, maintenance, and rehabilitation for the pipeline industry. We work with water and sewage pipes within cities. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We had a poorly performing website. Our team hired Straight North to rebuild the platform and optimize it for SEO.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Their main responsibilities with us are to improve our SEO, PPC, and collateral. In terms of paid ads, we focusing on Google and Bing. We attend trade shows throughout the year, so it was important for us to have flyers and marketing materials that we could hand out to potential clients. They helped us create those. At the moment, we’re also working on a PPC campaign.

What is the team composition?

I communicate with Ann (Project Manager, Straight North) and a sales rep that we talked to about our initial contract. 

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I started here after we hired them, so I wasn’t involved in the hiring process.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent between $10,000–$50,000 on their services so far. 

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in Septemeber 2019, and our work together in ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

They produced a brochure that will help us showcase our services to potential clients. In the last few months, since they rebuilt our site, we’ve seen a great increase in leads we’re receiving through our online form. The quality of leads is also very high. Their organic search services have really paid off.   

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

We’re in the rhythm of doing weekly calls to check-in on progress. They’ve been great at prioritizing what we’re supposed to be most closely focused on. It’s been super helpful to have them coordinate tasks to make our lives easier.  

What did you find most impressive about them?

We’re in a very niche industry that most companies wouldn’t have knowledge about coming into a relationship. The partnership requires them to understand keywords and phrases within our industry. Their ability to keep track of all the required information and also conduct market research for us really contributed to our success. 

Are there any areas they could improve?

We’ve been pretty happy so far. Now that we’re into the next phase of PPC work, we’re excited to continue to work with them. I can’t think of anything they could do to improve.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

They offer a wide range of services. In order to get the most bang for your buck, I’d recommend using all of their services.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

SEM Support for Confection Retail Brand

“They’ve offered us a consistent team that knows our business.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Feb. 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North provides ongoing SEM and SEO services to two caramel apple brands, focusing on content creation and metadata. They manage their partner’s paid search ads on Google, Bing, and Facebook.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago Metro Area, Illinois
Todd McClamroch
VP of Marketing, Affy Tapple & Mrs. Prindable's
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Scaling up and down to accommodate the seasonal market, the team’s flexibility has contributed to two years of record sales performance. Their ability to understand the needs and unique operational style of the business allowed them to provide the account an appropriate amount of attention.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the VP of marketing for two caramel apple brands—Affy Tapple and Mrs. Prindable’s. It’s my job to manage the marketing efforts for both brands. The majority of the work we’ve done with Straight North involved Mrs. Prindable’s, our direct-to-consumer brand.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We were transitioning e-commerce platforms and wanted to ensure that the SEO was not negatively impacted by that change. It was important that the transition was smooth and that we were doing everything we could to optimize our new platform. Secondly, we wanted to improve the quality of our SEM efforts through paid search.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

From an SEO standpoint, we had to do a full audit of our existing platform and review the future platform to prepare to make as optimized of a solution as possible. Along with that, they’ve helped us create content for SEO purposes and optimized meta tags. Our goal was to use this information to tailor content to our audience while also rising in the ranks on Google. 

For paid search, we work primarily with them on Google and Bing search ads. We also use them for Facebook ads as well.  

What is the team composition?

We’ve worked closely with Hillary (Senior Account Manager, Straight North) and Alex (Lead PPC Strategist, Straight North). 

How did you come to work with Straight North?

We were working with a different agency and decided to move away from them. I’d had conversations with their team in the past, but it was never the right time to work with them. When this opportunity came up, I asked them to put together a proposal. They seemed to understand trends and be able to provide fresh insights. I was happy with their knowledge areas and skills. That helped us decide to allow them to manage our SEM and SEO efforts as a bundled program.  

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent a total of $100,000–$250,000 on their services. 

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in February 2018, and our work together is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

They helped us sustain profitable growth, which was our biggest organizational goal. They’ve contributed to our two back-to-back years of record sales performance in company history. We didn’t have to overspend to achieve that. They accomplished that by understanding our business and goals. Their team has been able to make sure that we’re seeing optimized growth for the right value. We’ve been very satisfied with the team and the technologies they use.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

We’re a seasonal business, making the majority of our revenue within three months out of the year. Because of that, sometimes we touch base every few weeks. Other times, we’re talking every few days. A change in bid strategy in our highest volume months can have a huge impact, so it’s important for us to stay in touch. We also have an annual review that involves our meeting with their wider team to discuss strategy, but we feel like we’re in good hands with the team that we speak to on a regular basis.

They provide weekly and monthly reports as well as track ongoing projects in a Google Sheet. Those files allow us to work collaboratively and provide feedback to each other.  

What did you find most impressive about them?

I value their willingness to tailor their services and support of our business to our seasonal needs. Many agencies struggle with scaling their team up or down depending on the time of year. They’ve offered us a consistent team that knows our business. That kept us from having to educate our partner on our goals whenever a holiday came around. They’re always prepared to increase the frequency of calls and drive revenue when we need that support. 

Are there any areas they could improve?

We’re looking to tailor and tweak our weekly reports. It’s currently through Excel, but there could be ways to expand our understanding of data to look at trends. It would be great to see further improved data visualization and trending. For the most part, they’ve given us everything we need to be successful.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Treat them as a true partner, bringing them into the business and sharing as much information as possible. We dump a lot of information on them. Making sure they’re aware of our business’s intricacies ensures that they can provide even better services in return. It’s helpful to us to make sure that they understand everything we’re doing strategically around the business.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I’m satisfied, but we have increased our spend with them for even better results.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer

SEM Support for Metal Processing Company

“They go above and beyond what’s expected from an SEO company.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
June 2019 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North serves as the go-to content development and SEO partner for a materials processing center that wanted to expand into different markets. They also make changes to the site structure as needed.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Greater Detroit Area, Michigan
Service and Marketing Professional, Metal Processing Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Compared to the work of past partners, the team’s work has improved company performance by 10%–15% year over year. They worked closely with their partner in order to fully understand the complexities of operations. Their client dashboard updates constantly to provide the latest performance data.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m an account manager for a materials processing center. In my role, I handled marketing efforts and both inside and outside sales.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We were looking to increase our online visibility within markets that we want to break into or expand.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They’ve put in a lot of upfront work, reviewing our content and researching various items that are important to us. Nothing is ever put onto our website without our authorization; they send their work to us for approval and changes. In their efforts to generate content for our site, we review the work and make edits to ensure that everything applies to our company.

In addition to content writing, they work with our web specialists to make site changes as needed. For instance, they’d help us if we wanted to add and write additional pages to our website. We’re looking to implement something like that in the next few years.  

What is the team composition?

I have between 5–6 people on my team from their company. There may even be more than I’m aware of. 

How did you come to work with Straight North?

Our previous provider was not performing up to par for us, so we needed someone new. Our owner was contacted by their team, and we did an initial interview call. At that time, we were considering a total of three SEO companies.

I was pleased with their management style and the opportunity to use their dashboard to access whatever data was needed for our work. They were professional and quick to respond to questions. I’m very sales-minded, so it was helpful to have someone walk me through all the details to prepare me with what to expect in the next steps.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent between $25,000–$50,000 on their services. 

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in June 2019, and the collaboration is ongoing. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Each month, I recieve a report from them that allows me insight into how their work is performing. I never feel as if I’m not getting the information I’m expecting. Month-over-month, we’re seeing about a 10%–15% improvement compared to our past partner.  

It’s been a very good experience. The team has made a great effort to better understand our business, allowing them to write better content for our site. We’re in the process of changing the site’s look and feel, and they’ve been professional and intuitive throughout that process.

They actively offer suggestions while still making sure to get our approval before going ahead on anything. There are times when their suggestions don’t apply to our business, so we pivot together in those cases. 

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

They’ve been easy to work with and have a user-friendly dashboard that we can use to access data. My contact works with their team to coordinate the project, checking in about content writing, research, finding images, outlines, and more. My days tend to be pulled in many different directions, and they’ve been quite patient with that. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

I’ve been pleased from the get-go. They’re always willing to help with anything we need. If there are things that I can’t get to right away, they offer to write bios or other editorial work. They go above and beyond what’s expected from an SEO company. We’ll likely move forward with their services for years to come. 

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can’t think of anything because they do fantastic work and have a diversity of skills. I never felt like I was alone while working with them.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Talk with the team regularly. I didn’t expect to get everything that I received from this relationship. I have the support and frequent reporting. That helps us think strategically about focusing in on a certain demographic and manage our expectations.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’ve exceeded my expectations.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would absolutely recommend them.

SEM for Full-Service Water Treatment Provider

The quality of their work has been excellent.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Feb. 2019 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

In order to generate inbound leads, Straight North conducted SEO for a water treatment provider. Along with improving the company website, the team also generated SEO-sensitive content for publication.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Oakland, California
Beyan O'Connell
CEO, Meras Water Solutions
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North’s efforts have definitively increased the client’s visibility, making them accessible to hard-to-reach customers. The team skillfully leveraged project management tools to drive results. They even extended themselves beyond project scope at times, which led to a positive engagement.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We’re a full-service provider of water treatment applications and programs. We work largely with agricultural customers in California by helping them treat their irrigation waters for different kinds of crops. We also have an industrial water treatment division that focuses on food and beverage factories, commercial buildings, and various manufacturing environments.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We were getting all of our customers by reaching out, so we wanted ways to generate some inbound interest. We were looking to create avenues—particularly through SEO—through which people could find us easier.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Straight North helps us with our SEO. They made changes to our website to make it SEO-sensitive, and after taking some time to understand our business, they started generating content to publish on the site. They provide articles on a routine basis, which I go through and edit before sending it back to them to publish. They set up our Google Analytics and give us frequent reports to inform us of our progress.

What is the team composition?

We worked with 2­–3 people, but I primarily interfaced with Taylor (Account Manager, Straight North).

How did you come to work with Straight North?

They were introduced to me through a friend and business partner. I was initially intrigued by SEO, which I wasn’t very familiar with, and after doing some research I figured that a service provider could get us off the ground.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent somewhere between $50,000–$100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The work began in February 2019 and is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement? 

The quality of their work has been excellent. Over the past year, we’ve made significant improvements in making ourselves visible and available to those seeking our services.

A major value-add has been the “leads” dashboard, located on Straight North’s web platform, which records interest generated from our website. That’s been very useful for training purposes, and Google Analytics has also been helpful in guiding us through our progress.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

We didn’t have any issues. The internal project management platform they shared with us was useful, and Taylor did a great job of staying on the content calendar.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their sales department is very skilled. I got the answers to the questions I had, and they were efficient in setting up a delineated scope of work for us. Also, along with being responsive, Taylor often helped us out with items that were outside of the scope, which we really appreciated.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Early on in the engagement, it took them a while to understand our business, but that’s not unusual since our line of work is quite complex.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Learn as much as you can about your current SEO productivity before you hire somebody.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Digital Marketing for Rubber Mulch Company

“They make sure we’re getting a cost-effective ROI for the advertising dollars we spend.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jan. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North provides SEO and PPC services to a rubber mulch company. They’ve prepared the website for organic searches and run paid ads on Google and Bing.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Leo Shapiro
Owner, Perfect Rubber Mulch
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North has boosted sales, generated leads, and achieved first-page rankings. Internal stakeholders are pleased with their high-quality yet cost-effective work. The responsive team provides monthly reports that thoroughly account for costs, rates of return, leads, and other key metrics.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the owner of Perfect Rubber Mulch.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

Our goal was to penetrate the marketplace via PPC campaigns and gear up for organic searches. Ultimately, we wanted to get more customers and increase sales.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Straight North coordinates our SEO and PPC efforts. They manage our PPC campaigns and run paid ads on Google and Bing. They’ve also been gearing up our website to attract individuals who do online searches specific to our product lineup. 

What is the team composition?

I typically have just one contact, but they’ve got a team behind them.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I wasn’t happy with my prior vendor and was interviewing some competitors. We were too small for one of the companies we found, and they referred me to Straight North.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent about $250,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our work together began in January 2017, and it’s ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

I know it works because we’ve gotten leads and sales. They make sure we show up on the first page of search results when individuals search for our products, and they do so in a really cost-effective way. I’m happy with the quality of their work, and the price they charge seems to be fair.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

I’ve been happy with the team there; they seem to manage the work well, and my contact has been very responsive and caring. We keep a keen eye on acquisition costs, and they’ve historically done a good job. They also do a great job in terms of reporting. I get reports at the end of each month that show me what my spend is, where leads are coming from, what my rates of return are, and that kind of stuff.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Straight North does a great job accounting for the number of leads and where they come from, more so than any other company I’ve worked with.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, not off the top of my head.

Any advice for potential customers?

Their MO is to manage their clients’ money like it’s their own. They make sure we’re getting a cost-effective ROI for the advertising dollars we spend.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web Redesign & Digital Marketing for Chemical Manufacturer

“It’s really big that they’re continually updating the site and looking at what SEO terms are relevant.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Dec. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North rebuilt a manufacturer’s website, redesigning the entire site while ensuring it was SEO-friendly. They continue to provide SEO and PPC services, such as managing keywords and creating backlinks.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Melrose Park, Illinois
Colton Mandell
Customer Service & Internal Operations Head, Enviro Tech Int
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Their services have played a critical part in boosting Google rankings and generating leads, while internal stakeholders and customers alike have praised the professional, user-friendly website. Responsive and prompt, the team provides thorough monthly reports and insightful recommendations.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m a customer service representative at Enviro Tech International, a chemical manufacturer. We’re a small company of 12 people, and I’m responsible for processing all orders, working with customers, and acting as the in-house IT person.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We had some problems with the agency we’d been working with. We weren’t satisfied with their SEO and PPC services. My company also needed someone to help us build a good-looking website; we already had a decent one, but we couldn’t access the backend. Whenever we wanted to make any changes, we had to reach out to our service provider, and it often took them a week to get it done. In our industry, we occasionally need to make quick changes for legal purposes, so we really don’t have time to wait that long. We wanted to be able to operate the site on our own and have something more up-to-date looking.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

When we began working together three years ago, Straight North had a photographer come to our site and take a bunch of photos of our facility and products. Then, I worked with somebody from their team on the website design, pages, and color scheme. They built the whole website, which they continue to update and make sure is SEO-friendly. For instance, my contact at Straight North reached out to me today and said that they noticed that one of our pages could use more SEO terms for cleaning medical devices. They sent me an updated web page with the added key terms and asked me to look it over before they made it live. 

Straight North manages all of our SEO and PPC. They try to create backlinks, and they also write blogs for us every month. 

What is the team composition?

I have two main points of contact, one of whom does our SEO and PPC. We have monthly meetings with him to go over our results and how we’re doing. My other contact is more of a technical person. She helps me make changes to the site that are a bit over my head, such as if I need to work in HTML. There’s also a number I can call that connects me to general customer service if I have an immediate problem.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

My old manager was the one who found Straight North. I’m not sure how he found them, but he probably just looked online for SEO and PPC providers in Chicago. When we decided to check out Straight North, a few of their people came to our location and showed us their work. We liked how their clients’ websites looked. They also showed us the sites’ backends and how you can easily make changes. They told us what makes their SEO and PPC services different from those of other agencies and explained how they could help us get backlinks. 

How much have you invested with them?

My company has spent somewhere in the range of $100,000–$250,000. I believe we spend around $50,000 a year.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our work together began in December 2016, and it’s ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We get comments from our customers all the time that our site is one of the better-looking ones they’ve seen in the industry. The website looks way more professional than our last one. I’d put an infographic together for our previous website using Microsoft Paint, and I asked Straight North to redesign it. Their designers recreated the infographic to match our new site, and it looks really good. To create backlinks, they shared the graphic with a handful of resources and asked them to link it back to our website; just doing that moved us up quite a bit on Google rankings. 

They’re constantly looking over our website and making sure that all of our keywords are relevant so that we can rank as high as we can. While working with Straight North, we’ve noticed that we rank higher in Google search terms than we did with our previous provider. Our leads have also gone up.

We can now log into the website at any time and make whatever changes we’d like, which is really helpful. Also, the fact that they write blogs is impressive, since we’re in a pretty technical industry. Whoever they have writing blogs requires a good amount of knowledge about chemistry and our products.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

They send us monthly reports that go over how the SEO and PPC campaigns are performing, whereas our last provider never sent us anything. Just today, Straight North sent a Word Document stating the changes they want to make to the site and explaining why they want to make them. It’s really big that they’re continually updating the site and looking at what SEO terms are relevant. 

The reports they send also include recommendations. For instance, we were doing a campaign to try and target our competitors’ products. It seemed like a great campaign to us, but after running it for three months and spending a decent amount of money on it, we hadn’t gotten a single lead. Straight North let us know we weren’t seeing results and recommended that we turn it off. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

In short, we’ve been really impressed. I’d say I’ve been most impressed by their promptness. If I ever have a question, I have two different people and an immediate contact I can reach out to, and somebody will get back to me right away.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, I don’t have any complaints. Some of the SEO and PPC terms can be hard to understand, but it’s a confusing industry. When I’ve asked them to explain something better, they’ve always been able to.

Any advice for potential customers?

Take advantage of the monthly calls with your account representatives and be prepared to ask as many questions as you have. There’s some confusing jargon with SEO and PPC, and Straight North will easily explain it to you in simple terms so that you can better implement this stuff to improve your marketing.

5.0
Overall Score It’s been a really good experience, and I have nothing but good things to say.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Anytime I’ve asked them to get anything done, they do it promptly.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We’ve kept them on for three years and just signed another contract. As a small company, this is the only marketing we do, so it’s well worth it.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I’ve been very satisfied.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    The individual from my company who found Straight North was happy enough with them that he reached out to them to help him with his own company.

Digital Marketing Services for Surgery Institute

"Healthcare is complicated, and their team took the time to understand the intricacies and nuances of the industry."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Apr. 2019 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North managed digital marketing initiatives to promote services for an advanced surgery institute. They executed a PPC campaign to improve digital visibility and enhanced a site to support SEO efforts.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
John Steiner
Chief Operating Officer, Chicago Institute of Advanced Surgery
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North provides effective digital marketing services that result in a substantial number of impressions and an increase in engagement with services. The team is straightforward and flexible, which encourages project improvements. They are diligent and offer tools to facilitate collaboration.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the COO of the Chicago Institute of Advanced Surgery. We’re an advanced general surgery practice in a variety of specialties.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

If a patient has a BMI of 35 or higher with two comorbidities, the literature indicates that the best option for patients would be surgery. The data tells us that we’re only operating on 1% of that population in this country. We needed to get our services known to patients that aren't always referred by their physicians or those who might not have a primary care physician. The best way to engage with those patients is through direct, consumer-centric means. We worked with Straight North to market our bariatric services for those suffering from the chronic disease of obesity.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

This is my latest engagement with Straight North, as I’ve worked with them over a number of years. In this engagement, their team has two responsibilities. One was to optimize our website so that patients find us. To support SEO initiatives, they advanced our website. Straight North's greater responsibility's a PPC campaign to optimize our presence and availability in the Chicago region. Largely, our audience goes to academic medical centers for bariatric surgery. Their team optimized our services to reach that audience.

What is the team composition?

I’ve worked with three people thus far. One provides consulting services to help us attack the markets in a strategic sense. We work with another individual for website enhancements and upgrades. For PPC efforts, we work with one other team member from Straight North.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I worked with Straight North previously but wanted to find the right fit for the project. We looked at the market and talked to three other firms. We assessed agencies’ experiences in healthcare, their ideas about how to approach our business, and how to get the best bang for our buck. When we looked at the other options, Straight North rose to the top quickly. Reviewing their proposal, the quality of their team, and the value for our dollar, Straight North was best for us.

How much have you invested with them?

Since April, we've spent between $10,000­–$20,000 on their services.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our work started in April 2019 and it’s ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement? 

Straight North's superb in terms of increasing traffic to our services. In the first six months of working with them, the number of impressions our platform received is almost 40,000, which is excellent to get our brand known. The biggest impact for us is their ability to drive new patients that otherwise wouldn’t have known about us to our front door. 

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re transparent about their work. We’re careful about communicating our needs. Their team takes that information and comes back to us with an estimate of the number of hours it will take to complete a project. They're right on or under the estimated amount. On the PPC side of their efforts, we have a nice dashboard that helps us to understand our campaign’s impact. Also, we meet with the project manager 2–4 times a month to understand how the campaign’s going as well as to provide them with data that helps them to understand improvements. Their team takes the time to compare notes and understand how we’re doing. They listen to suggestions about work going forward.

What did you find most impressive about them?

It’s important for companies to understand the services that you provide. Straight North took a good amount of time to understand our business. Healthcare is complicated, and their team took the time to understand the intricacies and nuances of the industry. That’s a differentiator.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I don’t have suggestions for their improvement at this point. They’ve been right there with us. They didn’t run away from the problems we faced when moving our website to another host. That was wonderful to see.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Think about your needs and what you’re asking them to do. Do your best to articulate those needs. As you get into any engagement with a consultant, be willing to share information. Be a good strategic partner to maximize their efforts. For example, they drive patients to us. If we don’t engage them quickly then we’re not holding up our end of the bargain.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve done it many times.

Web Design & SEM Support for a Machinery Dealer

"They’re informative, professional, and organized."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Sep. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North developed and designed a website that integrates with a Salesforce system. They worked on the website’s content and layout. They also perform SEO & branding services.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago Metro Area, Illinois
Vice President, Machinery Dealer
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The team at Straight North went above and beyond. Traffic has increased significantly due to their skilled expertise in the industry. They’re communicative and organized, working well as a partner.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the vice president at a metalworking & manufacturing equipment dealer that buys and sells metalworking equipment all over the world. I’m involved in sales, managing our warehouse, and helping with logistics.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

When I joined the company over five years ago, there was a twenty-year-old website and a CRM that predated the site. One of the responsibilities I had was to update the infrastructure. After we decided on Salesforce for the CRM, we needed to integrate the system with a brand-new website.  

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The team at Straight North developed our website, optimizing it for SEO purposes. They also integrated the Salesforce system into the site so that the inventory is seamlessly updated. They’ve done everything in terms of my website, from content creation to layout structure. Along with that, they provide ongoing SEO consultation. Their team also performed some branding services by creating a logo, business cards, letterheads, and other marketing collateral.

What is the team composition?

We have a main point of contact that assists on the SEO side, and we also had a project manager for the web development side. In between them, I’ve also interacted with other members of the team. Once, I met their one of their executives and even went to their Chicago office for a presentation. For every project, there’s been a central point of contact.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I found Straight North through a Google search. We interviewed and met with a few different SEO companies, speaking with a lot of references. Straight North also worked with several clients in the manufacturing industry, so we felt that they understood what we wanted, while other vendors didn’t. In addition to how they presented themselves, that stood out to me.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent between $50,000–$100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our engagement with Straight North started in September 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

I’ve been happy with the work that they provided. Since we made the switch, we’ve noticed a significant increase in web traffic. There are a lot more leads, forms, and calls.

Overall, it’s been positive. We’ve received a lot of compliments from friends and competitors in the industry about the look and feel of the brand and website. I wish I could do more with Straight North, besides the ongoing SEO services. I plan on continuing our relationship with them.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

From a project management standpoint, their team did great. They’re informative, professional, and organized. Along with being responsive to my requests and questions, Straight North has open communication channels.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Overall, it’s been a great experience with Straight North. My colleagues and I are happy with the results. We plan to continue working with them.

Are there any areas they could improve?

There’s one thing I’ve received pushback on. While I’m not skilled in their business, I see a lot of fresh and exciting functionalities in different websites. They’ve advised me against a few things because it could hurt my SEO results. But according to what they’re telling me, it’s right that they don’t implement those features. I hope that one day they will find a way to fit my vision without sacrificing the SEO side.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Ask a lot of questions, call references, and interview multiple companies to compare and contrast. If people do their homework, they should come to similar conclusions as me. They’re a great company, and you can’t go wrong

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
Verification

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Verification Level
Gold
VERIFIED
Business Entity
Business Entity Name
STRAIGHT NORTH, LLC
Status
Active
Jurisdiction of Formation
Illinois
ID
1556606
Date of Formation
Jun 30, 2005
Source
Office of the Illinois Secretary of State
Last Updated
Dec 24, 2018
Payment & Legal Filings
Bankruptcy
No
Tax Lien Filings
0
Judgement Filings
0
Collections Count
0
Last Updated
Jul 22, 2019
Client Reviews
VERIFIED CLIENT REVIEWS
96
OVERALL REVIEW RATING
4.7
Source
Clutch
LAST UPDATED
February 11, 2020